Sometimes (always) things don’t go as planned. A month leading up to our “epic life changing road trip” a series of unfortunate events made us question our decision making skills. Here is what the storm before the calm looked like for us.

A 100 foot tree crashed through our roof in Florida

Two weeks before leaving Alaska, during a hurricane a tree fell on our home in Florida. Our insurance canceled itself two days before said hurricane (long story) and we were stuck paying out of pocket and hiring people while traveling. All this was extremely stressful because we had to navigate a four hour time difference, upcoming rainstorms and terrified tenants. This was an unexpected expense/event for sure, but after a week of hustle, things were fixed up.


We lost BOTH driver licenses one day before a road trip crossing 2 countries, 3 provinces, and 7 states.

The day before we left for our road trip from Alaska to San Francisco Jessi asked “Where are our drivers licenses?” We couldn’t find them. With a friend’s wedding approaching we had no choice but to drive through Canada with only our passports. We crossed our fingers, put good vibes into the universe and off we went. Nothing starts a great road trip like breaking the law.

We learned we didn’t have the right car to tow our new trailer

So we made it to SF without getting arrested. Score!

Now we only had one week before picking up our camper trailer that we already bought (yes, sight unseen, like all well-informed purchases should be).  To get ready for the trip, we thought all the t’s were crossed and i’s were dotted. The only thing left to do was put a hitch on our Mini Cooper. A few hours later we’d be finished… or so we thought.

We got the call from the shop:

     “So, uh, your particular mini doesn’t allow for a hitch.”

     “Wait, what? Like, not at all, like not possible?”

     “Yup, your exhaust is in the middle so no hitch exists. Gotta come pick it up.”



We had 24 hours to purchase a “new” vehicle with limited resources

We already had two leased cars–which we had gotten to commute to our 9-5’s –that we were contractually stuck with for the next 2 years. We had 3 days until go time and no way of towing our camper. We went into brainstorming/panic mode. We called friends to see who needed/wanted a car. We talked to the leasing agencies to see if we could upgrade to a larger vehicle with no luck, and then we turned to Craigslist to see what our options were for trucks.

The night before we are scheduled to hit the road, we found a small truck 40 miles away. We test drove it for five minutes and said we’ll take it. A quick trip to the DMV and then to the hitch shop we were then set to jet!

The next morning, we were on the road, heading to Arizona, to pick up our new home: a T@b Camper. What else could possible go wrong?

The first week was spent throwing up.

We had imagined our first week filled with blissful moments, romantic evenings spent at home stores, and long happy glances across the room as we nested together in our new home.

Instead, we spent the first week puking…everywhere.

The first night, we got in late and only hooked up electricity, so while there is a “bathroom” in our camper, it was non-functioning. Jessi spent the night kneeling under a redwood tree hurling the remains of dinner. We also didn’t know how to set up the stabilizers (little landing pads that lower from the bottom of the camper like a moon lander) to keep it from rocking on its wheels.  So, every turn of any of the 4 bodies in the camper meant lots of rocking…and lots more throwing up under the tree outside. The KOA camp bathrooms were far to far away to make it in time.

By the next night, we hooked up the water, so the toilet could flush…what luxuries! By that time Valerie caught the bug, she didn’t have to kneel outside, still, have you ever puked in a 2’x2′ bathroom? We have!

Needless to say, this was NOT what we expected from the first week on the road.

Three weeks later….

But here we are, week three and things couldn’t be better. While there were a few unexpected bumps on the road, things could have been much worse. As we write this, we sit in an artsy coffee shop in colorado, listening to live music. In this moment, we are VERY happy campers, and couldn’t feel more thankful about our new adventure.

Also, no one ever said it was going to be easy. Living a life of adventure is never easy. To quote one of our favorite books, The Alchemist:

What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.

Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested

*This contains affiliate links to one of our favorite books, The Alchemist.



  1. Grace Taylor Reply

    I feel like every big adventure has to test just how bad you want it! Hahaha glad you made it past the storm!

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